As an adult, you know the anxiety and pain that often accompanies dental work. That’s why you are willing to work hard to ensure that your children have healthy teeth and gums. There are 5 important habits that you can start with your child at an early age that will help them transition into caring for his or her own teeth as childhood progresses.
1. Brushing and Flossing
This tip may seem basic; however, many parents are unaware that brushing should really begin as soon as your child has teeth. Even if your child eats very little sugary food, it’s imperative that a good habit of brushing and flossing daily is established. Establishing this habit greatly reduces the likelihood that your child will have problems with tooth decay later on.
2. Avoid Sugary Foods
Every parent knows it’s unhealthy to give children a lot of sugar for many reasons. It is important to keep in mind that foods like dairy products, fruit juices, and fruit snacks contain sugar that can cause decay if eaten too often without regular brushing.
3. Regular Dentist Visits
Many dentists recommend beginning regular dental visits at the age of three or four. However, some pediatric dentists recommend starting even earlier. If you have a shy or anxious child, it can be helpful to bring your child along to older children’s dental appointments. This will allow your child to see what happens at the dentist and help reduce fear and anxiety. It also allows your child to become familiar with the dentist. Once your child begins seeing the dentist, make sure the appointments are regular so that the plaque can be removed and dental problems can be detected early on.
Most dentists will do a fluoride treatment on your child at regular appointments. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel so that the tooth can better resist decay. Some water supplies may contain fluoride, but if not, ask your dentist about a regular fluoride supplement for your child. This is available in a rinse or chewable tablet form.
Sealants are used in older children and teenagers on the back molars or premolars. A sealant is a thin plastic coating that bonds to the grooves and depressions of the teeth. This prevents food from getting stuck and developing into cavities. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to see if your child is ready to get sealants.